Global average temperatures were the hottest in 1400 years in the 20th century, more specifically during the period 1971-2000, according to a first-of-its-kind scientific study. The study, conducted by a team of 78 climate researchers in 24 countries, helps break new ground in climate science in that the team compiled direct and proxy data from a range of sources to reconstruct 2000 years of temperature change for seven continental-scale regions. The global warming trend they detected, which began in the late 19th and accelerated over the course of the 20th century, is in stark contrast to, and reverses, a long-term cooling trend that lasted well over 1000 years.
Reconstructing climate change across seven continental-scale regions over the past 2000 years, the researchers drew on direct observations of temperature, as well as a variety of proxy data that included ice and coral reef cores, tree-ring measurements, pollen and lake sediment sampling. The study, “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia,” was published in the current issue of Nature Geoscience. Read More→